Are Basketball Shoes Good For Netball?

Basketball shoes refer to footwear specifically designed for playing basketball, featuring attributes like ankle support, cushioning, and grip. Netball, on the other hand, is a similar sport but with different demands on footwear. The debate arises over whether basketball shoes can be suitable for playing netball.

Are basketball shoes up to the task when it comes to netball? The clash of courts brings forth a debate – can these kicks designed for the hardwood handle the swift moves and stops on the netball court? Let’s delve into the discussion.

While basketball shoes offer excellent ankle support and traction, their heavier build might not suit the quick lateral movements and lighter footwork demanded by netball. It’s crucial to weigh the pros and cons before deciding if basketball shoes can be repurposed for netball.

Footwear Options for Netball Players

Shoe TypeKey FeaturesSuitable Court SurfacePlaying StylePopular Brands
Basketball ShoesAnkle support, traction, cushioning, durabilityIndoor courtsVariedNike, Adidas, Under Armour
Netball-Specific ShoesTailored for netball, designed for court movementsIndoor courtsTailored for netballAsics, Mizuno, Gilbert
Volleyball ShoesLateral support, cushioning, gum rubber outsolesIndoor courtsVariedMizuno, ASICS, adidas
Cross-Training ShoesVersatile, balance of support and agilityIndoor and outdoorAll-aroundReebok, New Balance
Indoor Soccer ShoesTraction, durability, lateral supportIndoor courtsVariedAdidas, Puma, Nike
Tennis ShoesLateral support, cushioning, court-specific treadIndoor and outdoorVariedNike, Wilson, Asics

Understanding the Key Similarities and Differences

Before delving into the specifics, it’s important to acknowledge the shared characteristics and distinctions between netball and basketball. Speaking of basketball, one might wonder, “What Basketball Shoes Does Ja Morant Wear?” as footwear plays a crucial role in a player’s performance on the court.


  • Lateral Movement: Both sports involve a lot of lateral (side-to-side) movements, which require stability and support to prevent injuries.
  • Quick Changes of Direction: Players in both sports need to make rapid changes in direction, demanding shoes that can respond well to these movements.
  • The grip on the Court: Traction is crucial in both sports to maintain balance and control during quick cuts and turns.
  • Shock Absorption: Jumping and landing are common in both sports, necessitating shoes with adequate shock absorption to reduce the risk of lower-body injuries.


  • Court Surface: Netball is typically played on a hard, smooth court, while basketball courts can vary in surface type. This difference can affect shoe performance.
  • Rules and Gameplay: The rules and style of play are different in netball and basketball, which can impact the specific movements and demands placed on the players.
  • Positional Differences: Depending on their position, netball players may require different levels of ankle support, which is not as prominent in basketball.
  • Duration of Play: Basketball games are generally longer in duration compared to netball matches, so comfort and durability become more crucial for basketball players.

The Case for Basketball Shoes in Netball

Now, let’s examine the factors that make basketball shoes a viable option for netball players:

Ankle Support

Basketball shoes are designed with various levels of ankle support to cater to the different positions and playing styles within the sport. Some players may prefer high-top basketball shoes that offer maximum ankle support, while others may opt for mid-top or low-top styles for more freedom of movement. In netball, depending on the player’s role and personal preferences, these options can be advantageous.


Both netball and basketball require quick lateral movements and the ability to stop and start suddenly. Basketball shoes are well-known for their excellent traction, which can be highly beneficial in netball. The rubber outsoles on basketball shoes are designed to provide superior grip on various court surfaces, ensuring that netball players can make sharp cuts and pivots with confidence.


Jumping and landing are integral parts of both sports and basketball shoes are engineered to provide exceptional cushioning. This cushioning helps absorb shock during jumps and landings, reducing the strain on the lower body. This feature can be advantageous for netball players, especially when it comes to protecting their knees and ankles during the game.


Basketball shoes are designed to withstand the rigors of a high-impact sport like basketball, making them a durable option for netball players. The durability of these shoes ensures that they can withstand the demands of the game and the quick lateral movements involved in netball.

Variety of Options

Basketball shoes come in a wide range of designs, sizes, and styles to suit different player preferences. This variety can be advantageous for netball players who may have specific requirements or want to express their individuality on the court.

Fashion and Style

Some netball players may appreciate the aesthetics of basketball shoes and the opportunity to showcase their personal style. Basketball shoes are often available in trendy designs and colorways, allowing players to make a fashion statement while performing at their best.

The Case Against Basketball Shoes in Netball

Despite the advantages of using basketball shoes for netball, there are also some valid concerns and drawbacks to consider:


Basketball shoes are generally heavier than traditional netball shoes. The extra weight can potentially affect a netball player’s speed and agility. Players who prioritize speed and agility over ankle support may find that basketball shoes are not the ideal choice for them.

Court Surface

Netball is typically played on hard, smooth surfaces, whereas basketball courts can vary in terms of surface type. Basketball shoes may be better suited for indoor wooden or synthetic courts, while outdoor netball courts may have different demands. Players should take the specific court surface into consideration when choosing their footwear.

Game Duration

Basketball games are often longer in duration than netball matches, with more prolonged periods of intense activity. The durability and comfort that basketball shoes offer are tailored to the extended gameplay of basketball. Netball players may not require this level of durability and may find the added weight less desirable for shorter games.

How to Choose the Right Footwear for Netball

When deciding whether to use basketball shoes for netball, consider the following factors to make an informed choice:


Your playing position in netball can influence your shoe selection. For example, defenders may prioritize ankle support, while attackers may prefer lightweight options for enhanced agility.

Court Surface

Determine the type of court surface you primarily play on. If you play on indoor courts with a smooth surface, basketball shoes with good traction can be suitable. However, if you often play on outdoor courts with a different texture, you may need to consider different shoe options.

Playing Style

Your playing style and preferences should guide your choice of footwear. Some players may prioritize speed, while others may prioritize stability and ankle support. Choose shoes that align with your playing style and offer the features you value most.

Personal Comfort

Ultimately, the most crucial factor is personal comfort. The right pair of shoes should feel comfortable and supportive for your feet. Trying on different models and walking or running in them can help you determine which shoe suits you best.

Potential Alternatives for Netball Shoes

If you decide that basketball shoes are not the right fit for your netball needs, there are some alternative options to explore:

Netball-Specific Shoes

Several brands offer netball-specific shoes designed to cater to the demands of the sport. These shoes are optimized for the movements and court surfaces typically encountered in netball.

Volleyball Shoes

Volleyball shoes are another option to consider for netball. They are designed for indoor court sports and offer excellent lateral support and cushioning. Some volleyball shoes also have gum rubber outsoles for enhanced traction.

Cross-Training Shoes

Cross-training shoes are versatile and can be suitable for netball players who want a balance between support and agility. They are designed for various sports and activities and provide good all-around performance.

Indoor Soccer Shoes

Indoor soccer shoes, also known as futsal shoes, are designed for playing soccer on indoor courts. They offer excellent traction, durability, and lateral support, which can make them a viable option for netball.

Tennis Shoes

Tennis shoes are designed for court sports and offer lateral support and cushioning. They can work well for netball players, especially if the shoe’s tread pattern provides good traction.


The suitability of basketball shoes for netball boils down to personal preference and the specific demands of your game. Basketball shoes do provide excellent ankle support, cushioning, and grip, which can be beneficial in netball as well. However, the heavier build of basketball shoes may hinder the quick lateral movements and agility required in netball.

Ultimately, it’s essential to consider your playing style and needs. Some netball players may find basketball shoes to be a suitable and cost-effective option, especially if they don’t want to invest in a separate pair of netball-specific shoes. Others might prefer the lighter and more agile nature of netball shoes for enhanced performance. Whichever choice you make, ensuring that your footwear is comfortable and supports your playing style is key to excelling on the netball court. Experimenting with different shoe types may help you determine what works best for you, so you can enjoy the game to the fullest.

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